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Born Of The Bomb

United States Country of Origin: United States

Born Of The Bomb
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: September 28th, 2012
Label: Self Released
Genre: Thrash
1. All Hail
2. We Came To Conquer
3. Wage Slave
4. In The End, Devastation
5. Fan Massacre
6. Agnosticism
7. Combat Mosh
8. Axe Cop
9. Agents Of Steel (Agent Steel Cover)

Review by Greg on January 20, 2024.

A really, really welcome surprise. That's exactly what the fourth album (or fifth, if we count Super Retro Thrash too) by revival thrashers Lich King has been for me. I've never been a fanboy or a longtime supporter of the band, to be honest I haven't enjoyed their previous efforts, leaving out some sporadic tracks here and there, mostly from World Gone Dead. But folks, this is impressive, to say the least. It's an evidence that these five guys could also get serious and do something of high level; I know that many people may have doubted about it, however believe me, it's the truth. Provided that you aren't another of those jerks who cast shit all over the retro-thrash scene, in this case there's nothing for you here.

There are a lot of things that could be said for each song, and that's because the album is quite varied; of course Lich King are no Coroner nor Vektor, but even the most straightforward tracks that we can find on Born of the Bomb left some traces in my mind, urging me to go back and to give them another listen. Furthermore, it seems also that the guys have developed a real sense of humour: I've always appreciated when the artists manage to take themselves not too seriously without becoming cringy, and concerning this I cannot be disappointed at all. I mean, it's impossible to listen to 'We Came to Conquer' or 'Fan Massacre' without at least wondering what they had drunk before writing the lyrics! Personally I'd rather laugh out loud and not care too much about it. Nevertheless, without giving excessive space to the lyrics, the music itself steals the scene here. Unfortunately only two of the five musicians who performed here are still in the formation, which is preparing a quite long-awaited follow-up after nearly four years. All in all, that's a really good way to take leave of the listeners, I must say.

Yeah, the ten songs on here are absolutely top-notch thrash metal. The guitars play the key role on Born of the Bomb as the riffs fill each and every song, without falling in repetitiveness too easily, and the SOLOS! Man, Rob Pellegri is an absolute beast, and he's surely the one I'll miss the most, with all the respect due to the rest of the line-up. Once again, 'Fan Massacre' is a perfect example of the proper way to abuse your six strings and at the same time to sound fantastic. But don't be afraid, these Sadus/Slayer-esque deviations are not prominent as there is a major sense of melody throughout the rest of the album. For example, 'Wage Slave' is a damn solid track (those blast-beats in the intro!) softened with a sweet solo which, albeit not as technical as the others, fits perfectly in. Another trademark Lich King hit may be the following 'In the End, Devastation', a track greatly well-structured and unexpectedly varied.

Notwithstanding all this, the second half of the album succeeds to impress even more than the former, as it opens with the surprising, and nearly nine minutes long, monolith that is 'Agnosticism', the outcome of a more serious work of songwriting, facing the theme of life after death; the song itself is a welcome variation in the script, with its mid-paced approach and the vocal lines focused on melody, before one of their best solos ever. Once again, admirable work. And trust me, things keep going better and better: the couple 'Combat Mosh'/'Axe Cop' features probably the most simple recipe, yet the latter stands out thanks to some of the best riffs you'll find nearby and its perfect use of gang shouts in the catchy chorus. I assure you that it will stick in your head for a while. Now how would you round off a work of this extent? Well, the 'Agents of Steel' cover is, needless to say, successful: that riff would be cool even if played with a garbage grinder, it's true, but somehow Lich King make their style fit in a song nearly 30 years older. And it sounds really good. Finally we have the last one: it continues the saga of the Lich King-related tracks (one per album so far), but this time there is a pair of (really) special guests. And when I read their names, I couldn't have been more excited: no less than Patrick Lind and Jay Visser from Morbid Saint! The first is immediately recognizable from his evil, harsh voice which seems to have been preserved for decades, since Spectrum of Death came to life. Vice versa, Jay Visser lends his hand in the monstrous solo of the song, rivaling with Pellegri to create an absolute shred-fest which ends epically this fantastic album.

I can't express a final judgment without repeating the words 'impressive' and 'surprising' once again. In my opinion Lich King couldn't really make something better than this. Maybe Tom Martin's performance at the mic, usually not so exciting in the past, could be better, but it's at least decent here: the falsettos in the chorus of the Agent Steel cover are a precious addition to all this. The rest of the band is surely at a higher level, as I've hinted above. After my experience with Born of the Bomb I have started to follow more the band, on hold for a worthy successor of this little masterwork; because, like it or not, a revival thrash masterwork can sound like this too. Who knows if the new line-up will disappoint all the expectations or turn out to be even more successful than this one; what it's possible to assert for sure, is that five guys who can claim a release like this can also live on the fat of the land and be satisfied at the same time. Hope this won't be their choice, though.

Kudos to the King.

Rating: 9 out of 10


Review by Felix on May 30, 2019.

In my humble opinion, the regency of the Lich King began pretty miserable. He acted like a fool, awkward, unsure and without good ideas, but then he found a way to become a better ruler. His first acceptable manifesto was called World Gone Dead and - allow me to skip the Super(fluous) Retro Thrash bullshit - now he has presented us a government declaration of the finest art. Born of the Bomb has nothing in common with the blundering first steps of the king. Instead, he dishes up a proper thrash inferno. Given his newly gained strength, it remains a mystery to me why he still has an affinity for cover versions, but I admit that "Agents of Steel" is one of the absolute all-time classics and the Lich King does justice to the extraterrestrial monument. Even lead singer Tom Martin shows a brilliant performance, expressive and flexible. And he masters the high-pitched screams very well. 

The signature track of Agent Steel is unbeatable, but the dudes of Lich King have written highly interesting compositions as well. The rasping guitar that introduces "Combat Mosh" does not promise too much and the well-hung riffing at the beginning flows into an aggressive, straight and angry piece of pure thrash. Well, it goes without saying that the entire album holds nothing but 100% thrash. Don't be fooled by the title of the aforementioned song, no Sergeant "D" or a comparable creature invites you to a mosh session, although there is a brief mid-paced part after the second chorus. Instead, the band offers a solo where the guitarists seem to fly weightlessly. "Axe Cop" with its razor-sharp guitars celebrates another orgy of high speed and generally speaking, the band has not changed its style. The guys just execute their ideas better than ever before.

The album's production creates a proper amount of pressure. It's a clean, but not sterile sound and the guitars prevail without suppressing the drums or the vocals. Nevertheless, the huge improvement of the song material marks the great surprise of Born of the Bomb. More or less all songs profit from a mature design, a certain degree of catchiness and an enormous heaviness. Admittedly, the nonsensical "Fan Massacre" marks the exception, inter alia due to the imbecile lyrics. The musicians want to kill all of their fans, but I do not know whether it is already a "massacre" if two or three dudes are in danger... However, most tracks, for instance "In the End, Devastation", combine abrasive mid-tempo guitars with high speed eruptions and some "Reign in Blood" riffing is interspersed as well. Furthermore, the freaks from Massachusetts have created an epic monster track ("Agnosticism"). It offers a great number of riffs, lines and leads that have a melancholic, oriental or desperate touch. The second heavyweight ("Lich King V" with a playtime of eight minutes) offers a varied construction and acceptable lines, no adorable monument, but a decent closer.

Summing up, Born of the Bomb outshines its predecessors without batting its eyelid and it seems as if the band has overcome its childhood diseases. Maybe it is impossible for an American formation of the 21st century to reach the level of the pioneers of the eighties. But - to add another "maybe" - maybe I just should not wallow in my nostalgic memories. The truth is: the eighties are long gone, I have become an old grouch and Lich King have released a good album. Let's see what our majesty will do next.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10